TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Fly Rod Review

TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Fly Rod Review in the real-world of Patagonia, Argentina


Ok I admit it; I bought the TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series 9’ 5wt, 4 piece as a back-up, and never really intended to use it. For under $150 bucks, who could blame me? And then came the afternoon that one of my non-fishing friends wanted to learn about the meaning of life through fly fishing…

First let’s lay out some detail on this rod. It uses an IM6 Graphite blank in matte black, decent guides, nice cork for the handle, and a very industrial looking Braided Graphite/Aluminum reel seat. They put nice little blue dots to aid in lining up your sections, and a touch of gold accent paint. I’d like to say I like the way this rod looks, but a beauty queen, she isn’t. However, it takes on an acceptable level of attitude when I lock on a big gold anodized Redington reel. It also comes with only a Cordura sock for protection, so you need to plan on purchasing a tube if you intend to travel with it. TFO advertises the Lefty Kreh Professional Series as a “medium fast” rod; but to me it feels in the hand more akin to a fast 6 or 7 weight. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I’ll discuss in a moment.

So I’m standing out at the casting pool here in my front yard in Argentina with my buddy, and he’s starting to get the hang of loading a rod and sending a fly where he wants it. But he has a dilemma; he doesn’t know what rod to buy. I decide to bring out a portion of my closet full of rods, (except a few of the pricy ones), and let him try them all. There’s an assortment of many brands; Orvis, St. Croix, Scott, Redington, and this homely little black thing in nothing more than a sock. He spends hours stringing and casting numerous 5 weights using the same line and reel combo; and time after time, he keeps coming back to the TFO.


Now I’m curious; because as I mentioned, I had purchased this rod as an emergency go-to, and had never really used it. I start casting all of the rods myself, paying more attention than usual to the communication coming back from each rod, and more importantly, to the accuracy and distance that I was achieving with each stick. Low and behold, the TFO Lefty Kreh Pro was delivering better distance and accuracy from my hands as well. And even though it felt heavier than most other rods in my quiver, it’s pretty smooth and very predictable in the way it releases stored power. Since I also use heavy sinking line here in Patagonia, I decide to throw on a spool of 200 gr Orvis Depth Charge and see what happened. What felt really good with floating line, now transitioned into a canon. I was mystified, and delighted with my good fortune.

I’ve been using the TFO Lefty Kreh Pro for most of the past season now, in virtually every condition imaginable; lakes, rivers, with floating line and dries, and sinking line with huge streamers. It does everything well, but I think it excels with sinking line, and I usually keep it strung up as my streamer rod. I’ve taken untold numbers

of really nice fish with this rod, and it’s powerful in delivering fish to net, but delivers a lot of feedback through the tip to let me know when I’m reaching the break point. I’ve had one failure of sorts with the rod, which occurred this past month on the Caleufu, when the reel seat started creeping. Hopefully I can have that fixed locally, because I’m way outside the reasonable shipping zone for warranty repairs with TFO.

I’m still a little sheepish about bringing the TFO out of its pitiful little sock in front of the world-travelling fishermen and clients here in Patagonia. But oddly enough, the guides and outfitters never snicker; they know the truth of it. With simple, decent materials, and no glitter; TFO has managed to build an Every-man’s rod with real talent. I love mine, and no matter what rods I take into the wilds of Patagonia, this one has earned a reserved space; even if only as a “back-up”.